We’re less than three weeks from not just the end of the year, but the end of the decade. It’s been a wild ride for brands and their marketing efforts. Within the last 10 years, marketers have had to pivot so often that the marketing practices of 2010 look quaint compared to 2019. We’ve seen the rise of marketing clouds, of social media strategy, of data gone wild and then reigned back in. Marketers have had to adapt quickly or have their efforts ignored.
As we take a quick break during the holidays, it’s time to reflect on the ghosts of marketing past and present, and especially look forward to what’s to come in the near future. Here are three technology predictions for marketers as we enter a new decade.
1. The term “Customer Data Platform” (CDP) has jumped the shark
When all of the niche vendors claim to be CDPs and use the same messaging, the category becomes diluted and the term loses its meaning. Marketers are confused about whether or not they need a CDP — and what a CDP even delivers.
According to David Raab, Founder of the CDP Institute, “The CDP industry faces two challenges. First, many firms offering a CDP or CDP alternative fail to build the complete, shareable customer database that is the heart of the CDP concept. Second, legitimate CDPs vary hugely in the additional features they provide, leaving buyers confused by the range of options.”
The important thing is not to jump at the next shiny toy under the marketing tree but to go back and focus on what an organization is trying to achieve and how they’re activating the insights from data sources to deliver real value to customers. Most marketers don’t need an IT stack to do that.
2. Linear journeys make way for personalized experiences
The concept of traditional customer journeys, at least as we have known them in the past decade, are ripe for reinvention. With the number of touchpoints consumers interact with brands on — such as email, mobile, social, smart devices, apps, and more — it’s nearly impossible for marketers to manually conceive of the specific steps to take. We now have the capabilities to use machine learning to help us augment and complement what to do next and automate the process of real-time personalization.
In 2020, marketers should be leveraging a combination of business rules and machine learning to achieve more scalable and personalized experiences. Business rules are the familiar tools marketers use to choose if/then, and/or logic to target individuals and segments in cross-channel campaigns. Coupling this approach with models that might predict “propensity to buy” or “propensity to churn,” and optimize send time can have a significant impact on results.
We can now play the numbers, leveraging statistics to determine how to deliver not only the right content, the right treatment, the right offer, but the right automated path to engagement.
3. Value-exchange marketing is the future
With legislation such as GDPR and CCPA in front of us, consumer data privacy is more important than ever. It’s only getting harder for marketers to deliver personalized, one-to-one campaigns that deliver results. Going forward, marketers will have to evolve their thinking from a third-party data mindset to one that focuses on creating real value for consumers.
Value exchange marketing is ensuring brands are providing consumers with useful information and helpful experiences from acquisition to engagement, and emotional loyalty. This is done by capturing zero-party data — data freely provided by the consumer, to create real-time, personalized engagements.
True 1:1 marketing requires capturing consumers' motivations and preferences at scale, which is only possible by going straight to the source — your end customer. The brands that win will be the ones that are using data to get a better understanding of their consumers and leverage the insights in respectful and contextually appropriate ways.
We are at an exciting time in the world of marketing — the foundations of how we have operated for a decade are shifting quickly, but we see a future where fostering relationships, not just crunching the numbers, will be key to success for the next 10 years.
When data, privacy, and marketing collide, what does it mean for brands?
Read CMO Richard Jones’ predictions.
Patrick is SVP of Product Marketing at Cheetah Digital, focused on the go-to-market strategy and team for the Customer Engagement Suite. A frequent industry event speaker, Patrick has over 20 years of experience in the technology, consulting, and marketing industries. Prior to Cheetah Digital, Patrick was VP of Product Strategy at RedPoint Global, leading the product roadmap and go-to-market for the Customer Engagement Hub. Previously, Patrick was at Adobe through the acquisition of Neolane, focused on email and real-time decisioning. He has also spent time at Pegasystems, leading product marketing for the next-best-action decision engine, and spent many years at Forrester Research in the research and consulting organizations. He is a certified product manager and holds an MBA from Boston University.